Plum genre-bender

Crime fic is at the top of my reading lovelist, no doubt about it. But spec fic is a close second. Usually hard sci fi, but fantasy sometimes does it for me, too.

So I’m very interested to see Evanovich’s brave experiment in crossing the streams. I’m halfway through Plum Spooky: I’m loving her intentions, and the execution ain’t half bad! Fantasy has just that floaty softness that crime fic doesn’t usually deliver. A tasty read indeed–and this from a palate suffering Plum-fatigue!

Of course, there’s the whole hard sci fi tradition of genre-bending with the time cop, space cop, continuum cop, et al. And TV audiences are familiar with the joys of the psychic detective. But these stories tend to take themselves So Very Seriously! Evanovich’s dash of riot grrrl – lipstick feminist slapstick – makes for a new breed. She puts the lovechild of Kinsey Milhone and Bridget Jones into the Forbidden Forest, with pleasing results.

The dash of genre-bending also helps overcome the dramatic gridlock of the Plum series. Now that Stephanie’s slept with both Ranger and Morelli , do we really care if she ends up with either of them? I’m afraid the cork has popped on that one for me. The pressure for bigger and better crimes has made for weaker plots, too. But “between the numbers” there is space to open up new love interests, and new spooky plotlines. Brilliant!

Can anyone offer other examples of feminist crime fic fantasy?

6 thoughts on “Plum genre-bender

  1. “a palate suffering Plum-fatigue” … excellent.

    No, I am not stalking you, well, maybe just a little 😉

  2. Trust you to appreciate the foodie metaphor! Lovely to hear from you on mamaguilt. Have you read anything good lately, or are you still too busy with mama-stuff to read?

    1. VI was my first true crime fic love! (Well, after Ann Rankin, the little-known equine investigator series for girls.) I would class it as straight-up crime fic, no fantasy. Early Paretsky is the best example of clear and accessible feminist themes in crime fic. She ranks just ahead of Grafton, for a richer subversion of the archetypal male PI.

      I’ve read El Dorado but not Monkey’s Mask. Yet. Poetry does give El D an gothic-horror caste that I would agree fits into fantasy. I savour the thought of reading MM one day…

  3. Ha! My last read was a parenting book! Have gone off crime fiction totally – something hormonal I think. I can’t seem to stomach violence et cetera on any level. Currently on a Margaret Atwood marathon (presently taking a breather at the refreshment station).

  4. Reading Atwood while BFing (or, as Griffy liked to say, “Nee-nee”) – I am so impressed! I couldn’t read anything for 4 years while my kids were babies. I made you and my other smart friends read stuff and tell me about it…

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